Back in September, I wrote this review of Marmalade Boy. Really, it’s the tip of a larger topic. It’s a topic that some people find uncomfortable and makes some people squeamish. That topic would be incest.

It’s a topic that seems to repeatedly come up in anime and manga for years. It seems to be a popular theme, so much so that it shows in hentai (Oh Imouto). The idea of a forbidden relationship between brother and sister seems to tantalizing, that it’s been made into porn. Oh Imouto is quite explicit (as most hentai manga is). It’s almost comical as it is disturbing.

Angel SanctuaryOf course, this isn’t the only incidence of incest showing up in both anime and manga. Not by a long-shot. The series Angel Sanctuary also largely dabbles in an incestuous relationship. The story of a brother and sister who fall in love with each other but are separated as the brother is the reincarnation of an angel. The story itself is well written, nicely drawn and well worth reading. It’s also very much about incest. Setsuna’s whole motivation is to save his sister… the sister that he loves more than anything.

This theme also runs through Vampire Knight (review of the anime coming soon). Yuki and Kaname’s relationship is the thread that both starts and maintains this story. A brother and sister of vampire royalty… it harkens back to that not so long ago time at the beginning of the 20th century where all the royal families in Europe were all related to each other. It is almost like looking back in history if you think about the fact that all royalty in both Europe and in Ancient Egypt were related to a certain degree. It’s the love between Kaname and Yuki that gives the story its form. It’s not without its outside threats in the form of Zero. Still, the relationship between Kaname and Yuki wins the day. (And I apologize if this is a spoiler for anybody.)Vampire Knight Kaname Yuuki youth

More recently there’s a series that has become inexplicably popular. It’s a series I’m curious about myself, but have yet to actually delve into. The series My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute is incredibly popular spawning a large series of light novels. I read about it quite recently in Rocket News. Here is the article on it.

My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute is the story of a brother who starts to become more enamored with his younger sister after he finds out that she is an avid fan of erotic games. It’s almost as though his eyes are opened after he realizes that his little sister is a sexual being… It’s simultaneously innocent and depraved.My Little Sister Can't Be This Cute

And then there’s the innocent occurence of incest in Ouran High School Host Club. Hikaru and Kaoru often play off themselves being twin brothers. They indulge the fantasies of their female patrons by engaging what has come to be called twincest.

It is actually so common that it’s spawned many forum conversations. It also spawned this blog post where it looks at it from a psychological point of view. It’s an interesting article that writes the timeline for the instances of incest in both anime and manga.

It seems to be quite the popular topic. And I imagine that it’s not going to end anytime soon. As long as forbidden love exists as a taboo, I suspect that people will keep fantasizing about it.